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From Mid to West
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Ah, Wiscon, why did you have to end?

The dessert thingy was pretty cool. I ate cheesecake and carrot cake and drank coffee and sat at a table full of beautiful women -- Heather, Jenn, Susan, Karen, Sarah, Kat, Lisa. Also sat with Greg and Dave Moles and briefly Jay and then Alan (all of whom are also beautiful, of course). The GoH speeches had their ups and downs, but Matt Ruff's Tiptree acceptance speech was altogether charming and good. After the dessert Heather and I ran upstairs for a bit before heading down to troll the parties. I wound up sitting in the hallway with Karen and Kristin, chatting about various things, until we gathered a critical mass of other people seeking the quiet end of the hallway. A bunch of us retreated up to Greg's room, where we listened to Ben Rosenbaum read his story for Flytrap 3, and argued about marketing labels, and talked about "iron egg" technique, and many other fine digressions. I turned in around 1:30, because I had to be up for an 8:30 a.m. reading.

Heather and I rose, groggy, on Monday -- she more groggy than me, since she'd come to bed later. I read with Jay Lake, Rob Gates, and a woman I didn't know. There was actually a decent audience (an extraordinary audience, given the hour). My fabulous love Heather brought me coffee, which kept me conscious and alive. I read "My Night with Aphrodite" (arguably an impolitic choice for a feminist convention, but it could just as easily be "My Night with Apollo," I suppose), and "The Heart, a Chambered Nautilus" and "The God of the Crossroads." It went well, especially considering how exhausted I was. Afterward we talked for a while with Ben Rosenbaum about children and parenting strategies, a subject about which he knows far more than we.

Heather and I headed upstairs, packed, came down, checked out, and stashed our bags in the hotel's holding room. We fortuitously found Jenn and Greg, and went to Michelangelo's for coffee and a light breakfast, and a last lingering bit of time together. After a while I went upstairs to attend the Sign-Out/mass autographing session, and signed a few copies of my collection, and a few program books, and chatted with people as they passed. Heather and I caught the 12:30 p.m. shuttle, so we could make our 2:15 flight.

And that's when all the troubles began. If you read other journals by Wiscon attendees, you already know there were lots of delays due to bad weather in the midwest. We were told we wouldn't be able to get a confirmed flight to San Francisco until the next morning. Undaunted, we took our original flight (now delayed by several hours) to Chicago, where we waited in line at a United gate for a while and finally got put on standby for the next available flight to San Francisco. And, lo -- we got on! Though we didn't wind up sitting together. I wound up next to a very sweet (and incidentally extremely pretty) recreational therapist who lives in Napa, so I had decent company during the flight. We didn't talk much though, actually -- instead I read the new Ratbastards chapbook (excellent, especially Lomax's "How to Write an Epic Fantasy Novel," though all are worthy), and then the entirety of Sean Stewart's Perfect Circle, which is a lovely, dark, surprising book which I recommend highly (and there are no treatises on the futures market in there either, Jenn!). I was well into Matt Ruff's Set This House in Order by the time we landed in SFO. I liked his Fool on the Hill, though I thought it was uneven, and I enjoyed parts of Sewer Gas & Electric, but Set This House in Order is better than either by an order of magnitude. I'm halfway through it, and he hasn't missed a step yet. I'll reserve final judgment for when I finish it, but it's very, very, very good so far.

We got into SFO around 9:30, and amazingly our luggage was on the same flight we were! So we took BART, and got a ride from the station from David H., our kind cat-sitter. Then we came upstairs, and I fed the preying mantis, and made a pizza, and ate half of it (I hadn't eaten much at all that day), and then we collapsed into unconsciousness!

And now we're home, and we miss Wiscon, and all the lovely people there, oh, yes, we do.

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